World War II veteran and Medal of Honor recipient, former Master- Sergeant Nicholas Oresko, passed away last week at age 96. According to Military.com, he was the oldest living Medal of Honor awardee at the time of his death, having received the nation's highest accolade for valor in combat, based on his heroic actions in January of 1945.
During the Battle of the Bulge, his unit pinned down by German fire, Sergeant Oresko single-handedly moved through that withering gun
fire, tossing grenades into a German bunker position, killing all of the enemy soldiers, and saving the lives of those in his out-gunned unit. He then, did it again, this time wounded, charging alone toward a second German bunker, and again, with grenades and rifle-fire, single-handedly ended the enemy threat. Dispatching a total of 12 Germans, he made it possible for his fellow-soldiers to advance and obtain their objective, with only minimal casualties. He was cited for "indomitable courage and unswerving devotion in the face of bitter resistance."
A resident of Bayonne, New Jersey, a school there was named in his honor several years ago. As a testament to the respect and devotion, felt by military members, both veteran and current, several of them remained at his side during his final days. Nicholas Oresko, yet another in the unending line of courageous Americans who have honored our nation, as they do so today, by their bravery, devotion, and love of country.